Four MIT graduates, Michael Farid, Kale Rogers, Luke Schlueter and Brady Knight, teamed up with Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud to create Spyce.
As Ramadan comes to an end and Eid Al Fitr approaches—peak seasons for socializing, celebrating and feasting—the Arab world’s connection to the beauty and importance of food and what it means to Middle Eastern culture has never been stronger.
The Middle East has always been a fertile land for food innovations. According to data from MENA Research Partners, the food and beverage sector in the GCC region is expected to reach $196 billion by 2021, from the current $130 billion.
Saudi Arabia alone accounts for more than half of the market share, followed by the UAE with 31%, while Kuwait is home to the third largest F&B market in the region.
These three Arab entrepreneurs from Forbes Middle East’s Arab 30 Under 30 ranking are succeeding in reshaping the F&B sector on both a local and global stage.
Four MIT graduates, Michael Farid, Kale Rogers, Luke Schlueter and Brady Knight, teamed up with Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud to create Spyce, a fast-casual restaurant featuring a robotic kitchen. The robotics-obsessed engineers got their start by building a prototype robot in their fraternity basement that could cook nutritious meals, serve them and clean up after. Spyce offers grain, chicken and veggie bowls for $7.50 each. With one location in Boston, it has secured $24.8 million in funding.
Co-founder, Pincho Factory
When Nizar Ahmad and his cousins opened the first Pincho Factory in 2010, he had only $6.27 left in the bank. Today, the Latin-American fast casual chain has 10 locations across South Florida that drive seven figures worth of revenue, and Ahmad doesn’t want to stop there: by 2022, he says, the chain will expand to another 90 locations. Ahmad has also bought a stake in Night Owl Cookies, and serves as the dessert company’s chief operations officer.
Residence: Saudi Arabia
Nouf Al Saleem co-founded Mathaqi, an online platform featuring meals cooked by home chefs delivered to customer’s doorstep within 60 minutes. The venture financially incentivizes women to earn money from the comfort of their homes. One of its members started her own restaurant after earning $2,400 on the platform.